The Crossville Cornet Band, circa 1888
Research shows that an early written account of a community band was in 1888 when a Crossville Cornet Band was mentioned. It was customary in those days for small towns to have bands for holiday celebrations such as Independence Day and for Sunday concerts in the park.
In November of 2000, local teacher, Murray Kidwell, gathered a small group of interested musicians and plans were made for the formation of a community band. The band began rehearsals at the Cumberland County High School later that month. Mr. Kidwell continued as director of the band until his retirement in 2008.
The band's first concert was given in December, 2000 at the high school gymnasium. Early in 2001, the band performed at the opening of the newly restored, Art Deco, Palace Theatre in downtown Crossville. The Cumberland County Community Band, now under the direction of Glen Belcher, continues to grow in membership. The band performs 4 formal band concerts at the Stone Memorial High School Auditorium each year. Also the band performs at civic events such as the Memorial Day ceremony and Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park in downtown Crossville. For several years the Cumberland County Community Band has combined with the Cumberland County Community Chorus to present a Veterans Benefit Concert just before Veterans Day.
The musicians include both active and retired music teachers, musicians returning to their instruments after a time of inactivity and high school students who have been recommended by their band director. The band is fortunate to have in its ranks trained musicians who have served as university, high school and elementary school band directors, professional players with dance bands and those who have played with and directed military bands. The majority of the membership are those who enjoyed playing instruments as students and now are renewing their skills in the fellowship of their neighbors and friends.
The Cumberland County Community Band is open to membership to anyone in the area with an interest in music and a desire to pursue their instrument in a congenial group setting. The band rehearses each Tuesday evening at 6:00 PM. in the Band Room at the Stone Memorial High School on Genesis Road in Crossville, TN.